close

The Qwillery | category: Maradaine

home

The Qwillery

A blog about books and other things speculative

qwillery.blogspot.com

Review, Excerpt and Giveaway - The Holver Alley Crew by Marshall Ryan Maresca


The Holver Alley Crew
Author:  Marshall Ryan Maresca
Series:  A Streets of Maradaine Novel
Publisher:  DAW, March 7, 2017
Format:  Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 352 pages
List Price:  US$7.99 (print and eBook)
ISBN9780756412609 (print); 9780756412616 (eBook)

Review, Excerpt and Giveaway - The Holver Alley Crew by Marshall Ryan Maresca
The exciting debut to Marshall Ryan Maresca’s Streets of Maradaine series, blending fast-paced heists with epic and urban fantasy across interconnected series of novels

The Rynax brothers had gone legit after Asti Rynax’s service in Druth Intelligence had shattered his nerves, and marriage and fatherhood convinced Verci Rynax to leave his life of thievery. They settled back in their old neighborhood in West Maradaine and bought themselves a shop, eager for a simple, honest life.

Then the Holver Alley Fire incinerated their plans. With no home, no shop, and no honest income—and saddled with a looming debt—they fall back on their old skills and old friends.

With a crew of other fire victims, Asti and Verci plan a simple carriage heist, but the job spirals out of control as they learn that the fire was no accident. Lives in Holver Alley were destroyed out of a sadistic scheme to buy the land.

Smoldering for revenge, burdened with Asti’s crumbling sanity, the brothers and their crew of amateurs and washouts swear to take down those responsible for the fire, no matter the cost.



Doreen's Thoughts

With his newest book, Marshal Ryan Maresca continues to develop his fantasy world, Maradaine. His first two novels focused on the criminal side of the world while his second two looked at the constabulary, those individuals catching the criminals. With The Holver Alley Crew, Maresca looks at the commoners who live on the streets and often are caught in the middle.

The story opens in the midst of a horrific fire, catching Verci Rynax, his brother Asti, his wife, and their daughter in their home by the flames. They rescue themselves and some of their neighbors, while waiting for the fire crews, but the firefighters appear too late. The fire eventually takes out not only their building, but a huge chunk of the neighborhood, including the shop the brothers had planned to open in their efforts to leave the criminal life.

Because of the debt they owed on the building, Verci and Asti are forced to seek criminal work once again. However, when it becomes apparent that the fire was set intentionally, the boys vow to find those responsible and hold them accountable using a ragtag team of their fellow victims.

Maresca excels at this type of rollicking adventure. His writing exemplifies showing, rather than telling. While he gives hints in the beginning about his characters’ backstories, the story itself reveals more about their personalities and problems. Maresca hints early on that Asti’s work as a spy had not ended well, but he leaves the nuts and bolts of the story and its aftermath for later. For example, the reader immediately sees that Asti is having problems controlling his violence by his reaction to seeing a shopkeeper attacked by thugs. It seems obvious that this is related to his past.

In addition to developing his characters, Maresca also outdoes himself with action. From the opening scene until the close, there always is some type of action taking place. Maresca does not use much introspection or dialogue when an old-fashioned brawl will do. His action scenes, such as the opening fire, go on for pages. He offers lots of fights, chases, and crashes, and he does so joyfully.

It is obvious that Maresca has a lot of fun writing his stories. He genuinely likes the characters that he is describing, even the so-called “bad” guys. While the Rynax brothers are technically thieves, they steal because circumstances force them to do so. Ultimately, they believe in a concept of justice, which is why they choose to go after those who set the fire. The same is true of Veranix, who is a vigilante fighting against a major crime lord. In Maradaine, very few people are ever solely good or wholly bad. Just as in real life, Maresca’s characters have a humanity that allows for shades of grey.




Excerpt

“Julien!” he called. The big man pushed his way through the crowd, Asti meeting him partway.

“You all right, Jules? Your house all right?”

“No,” Julien said, his wide, sad face covered in ash and soot.

“I’m sorry, Julien,” Asti said. “Win Greenfield and his family are still trapped.”

Julien nodded, and charged without further prodding. Verci scrambled out of the way as

Julien smashed his shoulder into the door. It splintered and cracked.

“Asti Rynax, what in the name of the blasted saints do you think you’re doing?” Helene Kesser, Julien’s cousin, had come up right behind him, grabbing his wrist tightly. Her face and nightclothes were covered in ashes, black hair a tangled mess, and bare arms scraped and bleeding. “I barely got Jules out of our house. Don’t you dare have him—”

“I just need the door open,” Asti said. He glanced over at Raych, still crying at Verci to come away from the burning building. “Keep everyone else out, Hel. Especially Verci.”

“How the blazes—”

“Just do it,” Asti said. He took off his pack and handed it to Helene. Without another word, he pulled a cloak out and took it to the well spigot nearest Greenfield’s shop. He pumped it hard, but only a trickle of water came out. While he was doing that, Julien broke the door off its hinges with a loud crunch. Smoke poured out through the open frame.

Asti took a deep breath, put on the damp cloak, and ran into the shop. He could hear Helene yelling from outside, telling Julien not to go in after him.

Asti couldn’t see anything; thick smoke filled the shop. Eyes shut, cloak over his face, he went by memory to the back counter. He didn’t need to see to find his way; it was five steps straight, and then three to the right to the door leading to Win’s workshop.
“Win!” he called out. He could barely hear his own voice over the roar of fire. Blindly he found the door to the back room, and gave a silent prayer that it would be unlocked. He pushed his way in and tripped over something on the ground.

The fire blazed throughout the workshop, but on the floor the smoke was thinner. He had tripped over Green- field’s body. Winthym lay flat on his face, breathing shallowly.
Asti shook him. “Win, come on.” Asti shook him again, but he didn’t wake.

Through the smoke, a hand touched Asti on the shoulder. Verci came crawling in, stopping right in front of Win’s body.

“What are you doing?” Asti shouted at his brother. “Same as you,” Verci said. The ceiling crackled and creaked above them.





The Giveaway

What:  One copy of The Holver Alley Crew by Marshall Ryan Maresca from the publisher. US / Canada Only

How:
  • Send an email to theqwillery . contests @ gmail.com [remove the spaces]
  • In the subject line, enter “Holver Alley“
  • In the body of the email, please provide your name and full mailing address. The winning address is used only to mail the prize and is provided to the publisher and/or The Qwillery only for that purpose. All other address information will be deleted once the giveaway ends.

Who:  The giveaway is open to all humans on the planet earth with a US or Canadian mailing address.

When:  The giveaway ends at 11:59 PM US Eastern Time on March 17, 2017. Void where prohibited by law. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 years old or older to enter.

*Giveaway rules and duration are subject to change without any notice.*





About Marshall

Review, Excerpt and Giveaway - The Holver Alley Crew by Marshall Ryan Maresca
Photo: © Kimberley Mead
Marshall Ryan Maresca grew up in upstate New York and studied film and video production at Penn State. He now lives Austin with his wife and son. His work appeared in Norton Anthology of Hint Fiction and Rick Klaw’s anthology Rayguns Over Texas. He also has had several short plays produced and has worked as a stage actor, a theatrical director and an amateur chef. His novels The Thorn of Dentonhill and A Murder of Mages each begin their own fantasy series, both set in the port city of Maradaine. For more information, visit Marshall’s website at www.mrmaresca.com.




Twitter @marshallmaresca







Previously in Maradaine

Review, Excerpt and Giveaway - The Holver Alley Crew by Marshall Ryan Maresca
The Thorn of Dentonhill
A Novel of Maradaine 1
DAW, February 3, 2014
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 400 pages

Veranix Calbert leads a double life. By day, he’s a struggling magic student at the University of Maradaine. At night, he spoils the drug trade of Willem Fenmere, crime boss of Dentonhill and murderer of Veranix’s father. He’s determined to shut Fenmere down.

With that goal in mind, Veranix disrupts the delivery of two magical artifacts meant for Fenmere’s clients, the mages of the Blue Hand Circle. Using these power-filled objects in his fight, he quickly becomes a real thorn in Fenmere’s side.

So much so that soon not only Fenmere, but powerful mages, assassins, and street gangs all want a piece of “The Thorn.” And with professors and prefects on the verge of discovering his secrets, Veranix’s double life might just fall apart. Unless, of course, Fenmere puts an end to it first.



See Doreen's review here.



Review, Excerpt and Giveaway - The Holver Alley Crew by Marshall Ryan Maresca
A Murder of Mages
A novel of the Maradaine Constabulary 1
DAW, July 7, 2015
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 352 pages

A Murder of Mages marks the debut of Marshall Ryan Maresca’s novels of The Maradaine Constabulary, his second series set amid the bustling streets and crime-ridden districts of the exotic city called Maradaine. A Murder of Mages introduces us to this spellbinding port city as seen through the eyes of the people who strive to maintain law and order, the hardworking men and women of the Maradaine Constabulary.

Satrine Rainey—former street rat, ex-spy, mother of two, and wife to a Constabulary Inspector who lies on the edge of death, injured in the line of duty—has been forced to fake her way into the post of Constabulary Inspector to support her family.

Minox Welling is a brilliant, unorthodox Inspector and an Uncircled mage—almost a crime in itself. Nicknamed “the jinx” because of the misfortunes that seem to befall anyone around him, Minox has been partnered with Satrine because no one else will work with either of them.

Their first case together—the ritual murder of a Circled mage— sends Satrine back to the streets she grew up on and brings Minox face-to-face with mage politics he’s desperate to avoid. As the body count rises, Satrine and Minox must race to catch the killer before their own secrets are exposed and they, too, become targets.



See Doreen's review here.



Review, Excerpt and Giveaway - The Holver Alley Crew by Marshall Ryan Maresca
The Alchemy of Chaos
A Novel of Maradaine 2
DAW, February 2, 2016
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 400 pages

Veranix Calbert is The Thorn—the street vigilante-turned-legend—and a danger to Willem Fenmere, the drug kingpin of Dentonhill. Veranix is determined to stop Fenmere and the effitte drug trade, especially when he discovers that Fenmere is planning on using the Red Rabbits gang in his neighborhood. But Veranix is also a magic student at the University of Maradaine, and it’s exam week. With his academic career riding on his performance, there’s no time to go after Fenmere or the Red Rabbits. But when a series of pranks on campus grow deadly, it’s clear that someone has a vendetta against the university, and Veranix may be the only one who can stop them…




See Doreen's review here.



Review, Excerpt and Giveaway - The Holver Alley Crew by Marshall Ryan Maresca
An Import of Intrigue
A novel of The Maradaine Constabulary 2
DAW, November 1, 2016
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 400 pages

The neighborhood of the Little East is a collision of cultures, languages, and traditions, hidden away in the city of Maradaine. A set of streets to be avoided or ignored. When a foreign dignitary is murdered, solving the crime falls to the most unpopular inspectors in the Maradaine Constabulary: exposed fraud Satrine Rainey, and Uncircled mage Minox Welling.

With a murder scene deliberately constructed to point blame toward the rival groups resident in this exotic section of Maradaine, Rainey is forced to confront her former life, while Welling’s ignorance of his own power threatens to consume him. And the conflicts erupting in the Little East will spark a citywide war unless the Constabulary solves the case quickly.



See Melanie's review here.





Upcoming

The Imposters of Aventil
A Novel of Maradaine 3
DAW, October 3, 2017
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 400 pages

[cover not yet revealed]
Blending vigilante justice with epic fantasy, this third Maradaine novel finds student Veranix Calbert returning to fight crime • “Veranix is Batman, if Batman were a teenager and magically talented.” —Library Journal

Summer and the Grand Tournament of High Colleges have come to the University of Maradaine. If the heat and the crowds weren’t enough to bring the campus and the neighborhood of Aventil to a boiling point, rumors that The Thorn is on the warpath—killing the last of the Red Rabbits—is enough to tip all of Maradaine into the fire.

Except Veranix Calbert, magic student at the University, is The Thorn, and he’s not the one viciously hunting the Red Rabbits. Veranix has his hands full with his share of responsibilities for the Tournament, and as The Thorn he’s been trying to find the source of the mind-destroying effitte being sold on campus. He’s as confused as anyone about the rumors.

When The Thorn imposter publicly attacks the local Aventil constables, the Constabulary bring in their own special investigators: Inspectors Minox Welling and Satrine Rainey from the Maradaine Grand Inspectors Unit. Can Veranix find out who the imposter is and stop him before Welling and Rainey arrest him for the imposter’s crimes?

Cover Reveal: The Holver Alley Crew by Marshall Ryan Maresca


The Qwillery is absolutely thrilled to reveal the cover for The Holver Alley Crew, the first novel in the Streets of Maradaine series by Marshall Ryan Maresca.

The Holver Alley Crew is set in the port city of Maradaine which is also the setting for his Maradaine novels and The Maradaine Constabulary novels.

The Holver Alley Crew will be published on March 7, 2017 by DAW.





Cover Reveal: The Holver Alley Crew by Marshall Ryan Maresca




The Rynax brothers had gone legit after Asti Rynax's service in Druth Intelligence had shattered his nerves, and marriage and fatherhood convinced Verci Rynax to leave his life of thievery. They settled back in their old neighborhood in West Maradaine and bought themselves a shop, eager for a simple, honest life. Then the Holver Alley Fire incinerated their plans. With no home, no shop, and no honest income—and saddled with a looming debt—they fall back on their old skills and old friends.

With a crew of other fire victims, Asti and Verci plan a simple carriage heist, but the job spirals out of control as they learn that the fire was no accident. Lives in Holver Alley were destroyed out of a sadistic scheme to buy the land. Smoldering for revenge, burdened with Asti's crumbling sanity, the brothers and their crew of amateurs and washouts swear to take down those responsible for the fire, no matter the cost.

“Maresca bring the whole package, complete and well-constructed.” ―Bibliosanctum

“The blend of fantasy and noir works wonderfully…with thrills and spills within a unique and well imagined world.” ―Sci-Fi and Fantasy Reviews





About Marshall

Cover Reveal: The Holver Alley Crew by Marshall Ryan Maresca
Photo: © Kimberley Mead
Marshall Ryan Maresca grew up in upstate New York and studied film and video production at Penn State. He now lives Austin with his wife and son. His work appeared in Norton Anthology of Hint Fiction and Rick Klaw’s anthology Rayguns Over Texas. He also has had several short plays produced and has worked as a stage actor, a theatrical director and an amateur chef. His novels The Thorn of Dentonhill and A Murder of Mages each begin their own fantasy series, both set in the port city of Maradaine. For more information, visit Marshall’s website at www.mrmaresca.com.




Twitter @marshallmaresca







Also by Marshall Ryan Maresca

Cover Reveal: The Holver Alley Crew by Marshall Ryan Maresca
The Thorn of Dentonhill
A Novel of Maradaine 1
DAW, February 3, 2014
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 400 pages

Veranix Calbert leads a double life. By day, he’s a struggling magic student at the University of Maradaine. At night, he spoils the drug trade of Willem Fenmere, crime boss of Dentonhill and murderer of Veranix’s father. He’s determined to shut Fenmere down.

With that goal in mind, Veranix disrupts the delivery of two magical artifacts meant for Fenmere’s clients, the mages of the Blue Hand Circle. Using these power-filled objects in his fight, he quickly becomes a real thorn in Fenmere’s side.

So much so that soon not only Fenmere, but powerful mages, assassins, and street gangs all want a piece of “The Thorn.” And with professors and prefects on the verge of discovering his secrets, Veranix’s double life might just fall apart. Unless, of course, Fenmere puts an end to it first.



See Doreen's review here.



Cover Reveal: The Holver Alley Crew by Marshall Ryan Maresca
A Murder of Mages
A novel of the Maradaine Constabulary 1
DAW, July 7, 2015
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 352 pages

A Murder of Mages marks the debut of Marshall Ryan Maresca’s novels of The Maradaine Constabulary, his second series set amid the bustling streets and crime-ridden districts of the exotic city called Maradaine. A Murder of Mages introduces us to this spellbinding port city as seen through the eyes of the people who strive to maintain law and order, the hardworking men and women of the Maradaine Constabulary.

Satrine Rainey—former street rat, ex-spy, mother of two, and wife to a Constabulary Inspector who lies on the edge of death, injured in the line of duty—has been forced to fake her way into the post of Constabulary Inspector to support her family.

Minox Welling is a brilliant, unorthodox Inspector and an Uncircled mage—almost a crime in itself. Nicknamed “the jinx” because of the misfortunes that seem to befall anyone around him, Minox has been partnered with Satrine because no one else will work with either of them.

Their first case together—the ritual murder of a Circled mage— sends Satrine back to the streets she grew up on and brings Minox face-to-face with mage politics he’s desperate to avoid. As the body count rises, Satrine and Minox must race to catch the killer before their own secrets are exposed and they, too, become targets.



See Doreen's review here.



Cover Reveal: The Holver Alley Crew by Marshall Ryan Maresca
The Alchemy of Chaos
A Novel of Maradaine 2
DAW, February 2, 2016
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 400 pages

Veranix Calbert is The Thorn—the street vigilante-turned-legend—and a danger to Willem Fenmere, the drug kingpin of Dentonhill. Veranix is determined to stop Fenmere and the effitte drug trade, especially when he discovers that Fenmere is planning on using the Red Rabbits gang in his neighborhood. But Veranix is also a magic student at the University of Maradaine, and it’s exam week. With his academic career riding on his performance, there’s no time to go after Fenmere or the Red Rabbits. But when a series of pranks on campus grow deadly, it’s clear that someone has a vendetta against the university, and Veranix may be the only one who can stop them…




See Doreen's review here.



Cover Reveal: The Holver Alley Crew by Marshall Ryan Maresca
An Import of Intrigue
A novel of The Maradaine Constabulary 2
DAW, November 1, 2016
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 400 pages

The neighborhood of the Little East is a collision of cultures, languages, and traditions, hidden away in the city of Maradaine. A set of streets to be avoided or ignored. When a foreign dignitary is murdered, solving the crime falls to the most unpopular inspectors in the Maradaine Constabulary: exposed fraud Satrine Rainey, and Uncircled mage Minox Welling.

With a murder scene deliberately constructed to point blame toward the rival groups resident in this exotic section of Maradaine, Rainey is forced to confront her former life, while Welling’s ignorance of his own power threatens to consume him. And the conflicts erupting in the Little East will spark a citywide war unless the Constabulary solves the case quickly.



See Melanie's review here.

Interview with Marshall Ryan Maresca and Review of The Alchemy of Chaos


Please welcome Marshall Ryan Maresca to The Qwillery. The Alchemy of Chaos was published on February 2nd by DAW.



Interview with Marshall Ryan Maresca and Review of The Alchemy of Chaos




The QwilleryWelcome back to The Qwillery! Since the publication of The Thorn of Dentonhill, A Murder of Mages and now The Alchemy of Chaos have been published. How has your writing process changed since The Thorn of Dentonhill was written?

Marshall Ryan Maresca:  The big thing is that I’ve grown far more disciplined in my day-to-day process. Partly because it’s an easier thing to justify (to yourself and others) when writing moves from being a thing you do purely out of hope and faith to having a concrete goal and expectation. I wrote The Thorn of Dentonhill still learning what a novel is and how to structure it, let alone having no idea what its fate might be. I was able to write Alchemy knowing what its destiny was going to be, which made a lot of those “why am I even doing this?” doubts evaporate.



TQWhat do you wish that you knew about book publishing when The Thorn of Dentonhill came out that you know now?

MRM:  That’s a tough one. If anything, it’s to not worry about what I perceive the is going on, not to worry about how other writers or other books are doing. “The race is long, and in the end, it’s only with yourself.”



TQYou are writing two series set in Maradaine: Novels of Maradaine and Novels of the Maradaine Constabulary. How are the two series related and how are they different?

MRM:  Both series are set in the same city, but in different parts. They’re both fantasy-crime books, but looking at it from very different angles. In Thorn and Alchemy the focus is on street gangs and living in or near these neighborhoods, with Veranix having a foot each in and out of that world. The Constabulary books takes the point of view of the city infrastructure, primarily the police force— but keeping that street-level perspective. Plus there’s some character overlap: a minor character in Thorn appeared in Murder, and a couple minor characters from Murder show up in Alchemy.



TQTell us something about The Alchemy of Chaos (A Novel of the Maradaine 2) that is not found in the book description.

MRM:  Veranix is going to have to deal with several new challenges, including having his secret discovered, facing flamboyant assassins and having to navigate a formal collegiate dinner.



TQWhich character in the Novels of Maradaine (so far) has surprised you the most? Who has been the hardest character to write and why?

MRM:  Surprised me the most? I’m going to have say Jutie, one of the Rose Street Princes. He started as a character that mostly exists for Colin’s sake— to give us someone Colin would have a stake in— but he expanded into being a lot more than that. Hardest to write? Probably Lieutenant Benvin, the constable in Aventil. He’s got to be a adversary for both Veranix and Colin, in different ways, while at the same time I can’t just make him bad. He’s a decent cop trying to do the best job he can in an environment that doesn’t give a damn about that.



TQWhich question about the Novels of Maradaine or the Novels of the Maradaine Constabulary do you wish someone would ask? Ask it and answer it!

MRM:  “With two separate series running in the same setting, do you have a grander Maradaine plan in the works?”

Yes. Yes I do.



TQPlease give us one or two of your favorite quotes from The Alchemy of Chaos.

MRM
“Veranix,” she said coolly. “Come with me to my workshop. Right now. Or I’ll have to let everyone know what you were doing last night.”
“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” Veranix said.
“Then let me talk you through it.” Arm still around him, she led him off the walkway so they could face the south lawn. Veranix craned his neck to see Delmin standing petrified in between the two buildings. She pointed to the wall in the distance. “I know you’re the Thorn, I know when you returned to campus right over there from doing Thorn things, and I have proof. Proof that my roommate will deliver to the captain of the cadets if I don’t explicitly tell her not to in two hours. So be a good boy and come with me.”


TQWhat's next?

MRM:  Next up for readers is the second Constabulary book, An Import of Intrigue. Inspectors Rainey and Welling must solve a murder deep in The Little East, the foreign enclaves of Maradaine. After that, there will be third books in both series, as well as launching a third Maradaine-based series.



TQThank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

MRM:  Thank you for having me!





The Alchemy of Chaos
Series:  A Novel of Maradaine 2
Publisher:  DAW, February 2, 2016
Format:  Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 400 pages
List Price:  $7.99 (print and eBook)
ISBN:  9780756411695 (print); 9780756411701 (eBook)

Interview with Marshall Ryan Maresca and Review of The Alchemy of Chaos
Veranix Calbert is The Thorn—the street vigilante-turned-legend—and a danger to Willem Fenmere, the drug kingpin of Dentonhill. Veranix is determined to stop Fenmere and the effitte drug trade, especially when he discovers that Fenmere is planning on using the Red Rabbits gang in his neighborhood. But Veranix is also a magic student at the University of Maradaine, and it’s exam week. With his academic career riding on his performance, there’s no time to go after Fenmere or the Red Rabbits. But when a series of pranks on campus grow deadly, it’s clear that someone has a vendetta against the university, and Veranix may be the only one who can stop them…



Doreen’s Thoughts

Marshall Ryan Maresca’s third novel, The Alchemy of Chaos, returns to the University of Maradaine and the surrounding neighborhoods. The focus is again on Veranix, the University student learning magic who also is a vigilante against the drug dealer, Fenmere. Veranix is trying to prepare for his finals while dealing with a Prankster at school and rumors of a new drug that may be more threatening than effitte. In addition to Veranix, we also see the perspectives of his cousin Colin, a self-righteous constabulary Benvin, and one of Fenmere’s goons, Bell. The story circulates among the four of them, and readers are able to learn what is happening in multiple parts of the city.

The story assumes that the reader has read the previous novel about Veranix and jumps right into the action again. Since the last story, Fenmere has stopped trying to cross the river into the Thorn’s chosen territory, and Veranix’s life has quieted down somewhat. However, with finals coming, his professor chooses him and his roommate, Delmin, to assist another student to prepare for his Letters presentation. Delmin must calibrate machinery while Veranix pushes numina (magic) at specific levels. This leaves very little time between preparing and taking the tests for scouting the neighborhood. In addition, someone begins playing pranks on the University students, pranks that become increasingly dangerous. These pranks are not entirely magical in nature, but Delmin senses that they have some relationship to magic.

Veranix struggles with whether he should be responsible for solving the prankster danger. He already has his vendetta against Fenmere and has taken responsibility for keeping his part of the City clean of effitte. He questions whether he is capable, let along responsible, for taking on more burden.

There is some cute interplay with his friend, Kaiana, and it is obvious to the reader than Veranix feels more than just friendship for her. His unrecognized jealousy is fun to watch. The story continues Veranix’s friendship with both her and Delmin and introduces Phadre, the student needing practical help for his exams, and Jiarna, a female student who has difficulty being taken seriously in her studies. Colin himself is struggling with his place in the Princes gang, and some of the gang leaders are starting to question exactly who the Thorn might be and where Colin’s allegiance lies. In addition, the overall action scenes are tightly written and fast-paced. The Alchemy of Chaos is another stirring story of magic and mayhem.





Also by Marshall Ryan Maresca

The Thorn of Dentonhill
A Novel of Maradaine 1
DAW, February 3, 2014
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 400 pages

Interview with Marshall Ryan Maresca and Review of The Alchemy of Chaos
Veranix Calbert leads a double life. By day, he’s a struggling magic student at the University of Maradaine. At night, he spoils the drug trade of Willem Fenmere, crime boss of Dentonhill and murderer of Veranix’s father. He’s determined to shut Fenmere down.

With that goal in mind, Veranix disrupts the delivery of two magical artifacts meant for Fenmere’s clients, the mages of the Blue Hand Circle. Using these power-filled objects in his fight, he quickly becomes a real thorn in Fenmere’s side.

So much so that soon not only Fenmere, but powerful mages, assassins, and street gangs all want a piece of “The Thorn.” And with professors and prefects on the verge of discovering his secrets, Veranix’s double life might just fall apart. Unless, of course, Fenmere puts an end to it first.


See Doreen's review here.



A Murder of Mages
A Novel of the Maradaine Constabulary 1
DAW, July 7, 2015
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 352 pages

Interview with Marshall Ryan Maresca and Review of The Alchemy of Chaos
A Murder of Mages marks the debut of Marshall Ryan Maresca’s novels of The Maradaine Constabulary, his second series set amid the bustling streets and crime-ridden districts of the exotic city called Maradaine. A Murder of Mages introduces us to this spellbinding port city as seen through the eyes of the people who strive to maintain law and order, the hardworking men and women of the Maradaine Constabulary.

Satrine Rainey—former street rat, ex-spy, mother of two, and wife to a Constabulary Inspector who lies on the edge of death, injured in the line of duty—has been forced to fake her way into the post of Constabulary Inspector to support her family.

Minox Welling is a brilliant, unorthodox Inspector and an Uncircled mage—almost a crime in itself. Nicknamed “the jinx” because of the misfortunes that seem to befall anyone around him, Minox has been partnered with Satrine because no one else will work with either of them.

Their first case together—the ritual murder of a Circled mage— sends Satrine back to the streets she grew up on and brings Minox face-to-face with mage politics he’s desperate to avoid. As the body count rises, Satrine and Minox must race to catch the killer before their own secrets are exposed and they, too, become targets.


See Doreen's review here.





About Marshall

Interview with Marshall Ryan Maresca and Review of The Alchemy of Chaos
Photo by Kimberley Mead
Marshall Ryan Maresca grew up in upstate New York and studied film and video production at Penn State. He now lives Austin with his wife and son. His work appeared in the Norton Anthology of Hint Fiction and Rick Klaw’s anthology Rayguns Over Texas. He also has had several short plays produced and has worked as a stage actor, a theatrical director and an amateur chef. His novels The Thorn of Dentonhill and A Murder of Mages each begin their own fantasy series, both set in the port city of Maradaine. For more information, visit Marshall’s website at www.mrmaresca.com.




Website  ~  Twitter @marshallmaresca



Review: A Murder of Mages by Marshall Ryan Maresca


A Murder of Mages
Author:  Marshall Ryan Maresca
Series:  The Maradaine Constabulary 1
Publisher:  DAW, July 7, 2015
Format:  Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 352 pages
List Price:  $7.99 (print); $7.99 (eBook)
ISBNs:  9780756410278 (print); 9780698180109 (eBook)
Review Copy:  Provided by the Publisher

Review: A Murder of Mages by Marshall Ryan Maresca
A Murder of Mages marks the debut of Marshall Ryan Maresca’s novels of The Maradaine Constabulary, his second series set amid the bustling streets and crime-ridden districts of the exotic city called Maradaine. A Murder of Mages introduces us to this spellbinding port city as seen through the eyes of the people who strive to maintain law and order, the hardworking men and women of the Maradaine Constabulary.

Satrine Rainey—former street rat, ex-spy, mother of two, and wife to a Constabulary Inspector who lies on the edge of death, injured in the line of duty—has been forced to fake her way into the post of Constabulary Inspector to support her family.

Minox Welling is a brilliant, unorthodox Inspector and an Uncircled mage—almost a crime in itself. Nicknamed “the jinx” because of the misfortunes that seem to befall anyone around him, Minox has been partnered with Satrine because no one else will work with either of them.

Their first case together—the ritual murder of a Circled mage— sends Satrine back to the streets she grew up on and brings Minox face-to-face with mage politics he’s desperate to avoid. As the body count rises, Satrine and Minox must race to catch the killer before their own secrets are exposed and they, too, become targets.



Doreen’s Thoughts

Marshall Ryan Maresca has done it again. After introducing readers to Maradaine through the eyes of criminals in The Thorn of Dentonhill (Maradaine 1), he focuses now on the constabulary, the ones catching the criminals in A Murder of Mages (Maradaine Constabulary 1). After her husband is severely injured, Satrine tricks her way into being named an Inspector to earn a living for herself and her daughters. She is partnered with Minox, who is an untrained mage, unassociated with any controlling circle. The two are charged with solving the murders of several mages within the City.

Satrine is intriguing as a character. While she appears to be a bright and ambitious woman simply trying to provide for her daughters, there are times when Maresca hints at her teenage years, when she worked as a spy. I do think that the scenes with her daughters and her husband (paralyzed and brain damaged during his last case) almost were unnecessary. I would have enjoyed learning more about her experiences during the war as a young spy – perhaps Maresca will return with her story.

Minox, however, remains more of a mystery than Satrine. While he bonds with another Uncircled mage, it really is never explained why he continues to remain Uncircled. That is rather telling since being Uncircled is almost a crime in and of itself.

While the mystery really could never be solved by the reader, it is well thought out. Overall, A Murder of Mages is another rollicking adventure of magic and mayhem.





Also by Marshall Ryan Maresca

The Thorn of Dentonhill
Maradaine 1
DAW, February 3, 2014
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 400 pages
List Price:  $7.99 (print); $7.99 (eBook)
ISBNs:  9780756410261 (print); 9780698180093 (eBook)

Review: A Murder of Mages by Marshall Ryan Maresca
Veranix Calbert leads a double life. By day, he’s a struggling magic student at the University of Maradaine. At night, he spoils the drug trade of Willem Fenmere, crime boss of Dentonhill and murderer of Veranix’s father. He’s determined to shut Fenmere down.

With that goal in mind, Veranix disrupts the delivery of two magical artifacts meant for Fenmere’s clients, the mages of the Blue Hand Circle. Using these power-filled objects in his fight, he quickly becomes a real thorn in Fenmere’s side.

So much so that soon not only Fenmere, but powerful mages, assassins, and street gangs all want a piece of “The Thorn.” And with professors and prefects on the verge of discovering his secrets, Veranix’s double life might just fall apart. Unless, of course, Fenmere puts an end to it first.


See Doreen's review here.

Review: The Thorn of Dentonhill by Marshall Ryan Maresca


The Thorn of Dentonhill
Author:  Marshall Ryan Maresca
Series:  Maradaine Constabulary 1
Publisher:  DAW, February 3, 2014
Format:  Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 400 pages
List Price:  $7.99 (print)
ISBN:  9780756410261 (print)
Review Copy:  Provided by the Publisher

Review: The Thorn of Dentonhill by Marshall Ryan Maresca
Veranix Calbert leads a double life. By day, he’s a struggling magic student at the University of Maradaine. At night, he spoils the drug trade of Willem Fenmere, crime boss of Dentonhill and murderer of Veranix’s father. He’s determined to shut Fenmere down.

With that goal in mind, Veranix disrupts the delivery of two magical artifacts meant for Fenmere’s clients, the mages of the Blue Hand Circle. Using these power-filled objects in his fight, he quickly becomes a real thorn in Fenmere’s side.

So much so that soon not only Fenmere, but powerful mages, assassins, and street gangs all want a piece of “The Thorn.” And with professors and prefects on the verge of discovering his secrets, Veranix’s double life might just fall apart. Unless, of course, Fenmere puts an end to it first.



Doreen's Thoughts

The Thorn of Dentonhill is a terrific tale of adventure and magic, with the action practically non-stop from the opening page. Veranix is a magic student by day, and a daring thief of those who pedal drugs at night. He leads a personal vendetta against the city’s biggest drug lord, Willem Fenmere, who murdered his father and has been the biggest criminal player since he arrived in the city.

As a university student of magic, Veranix is obligated to do well in his studies and accept a position with the mage group that is sponsoring his education. However, his extracurricular activities as a thief negatively affect his ability to remain awake during lectures and do the actual studying. During the course of his adventures, he has friends, professors, and family who try to support him. His friend and roommate Delmin Sarren assumes that he is having a passionate affair with the lovely groundskeeper, Kaiana, who in actuality helps him hide the tools of his trade and supports his mission to stop the drug dealing in the city. His cousin, Colin, a high-ranking captain in the one of the main gangs that run the city, is certain that Veranix is the Thorn, but believes that his actions in targeting Fenmere will result in a backlash against the gang and the other city citizens, from both Fenmere and the so-called authorities.

For a novel that has this much “swashbuckling” in it, The Thorn of Dentonhill actually is very political. Maresca has created a complex world, with different races and classes side by side with magic users who can use magic to differing degrees. I loved Veranix’s explanation of “the five hundred and five rule,” which explains how one out of five hundred people are born with the talent to feel and channel magic (called numina), and of those five hundred, only one in five has the ability to manipulate it in any useful way. Maresca does a fantastic job of setting the political stage in his city, explaining his magic, and developing the back story for why Veranix is so determined to stop drug sales – all naturally within the story itself, without long-winded paragraphs of explanations relating to which gang has control over which criminal functions. Maresca’s world is probably at an 18th century level in technology, with magic being so scarce that technology already has dealt with and eliminated the problem of having mage rulers.

I enjoyed The Thorn of Dentonhill tremendously. It was a quick read, action-packed but with enough intrigue to balance it out. Maresca is an extremely talented author, and I expect to read more great things from him.

Interview with Marshall Ryan Maresca, author of The Thorn of Dentonhill - February 1, 2015


Please welcome Marshall Ryan Maresca to The Qwillery as part of the 2015 Debut Author Challenge Interviews. The Thorn of Dentonhill will be published on February 3rd by DAW.



Interview with Marshall Ryan Maresca, author of The Thorn of Dentonhill - February 1, 2015




TQ:  Welcome to The Qwillery. When and why did you start writing?

Marshall:  I’ve been drawn to writing from an early age. In seventh grade I tried writing a huge fantasy epic called “The Last Righon”, even though when I started I had no idea what a ‘RIghon’ was or what the significance of the last one meant. But it sounded epic. I couldn’t resist the urge to come up with stories.



TQ:  Are you a plotter or a pantser?

Marshall:  Definitely a plotter. I love my outlines. I even worked out a whole structure for them. At one point, early on in my writing attempts, I had a romantic idea of pantsing— it sounds so thrilling! Just go where the writing takes you! I found out it takes me nowhere. I need to have a plan about where I’m going.



TQ:  What is the most challenging thing for you about writing?

Marshall:  Getting myself into the rhythm on a daily basis. On any given day, getting those first hundred words is like starting the car on a frigid day. Once my engine gets warmed up, then the words are flying like arrows at Agincourt.



TQ:  Who are some of your literary influences? Favorite authors?

Marshall:  Early influences include Zilpha Keatly Snyder, David Eddings and Isaac Asimov. I just devoured Asimov as a teenager. Right now I’ve been reading John Scalzi a lot. Plus I have an enormous “too read” pile, especially for genre stuff.



TQ:  Describe The Thorn of Dentonhill in 140 characters or less.

Marshall:  Student by day, hero by night fights drug dealers, assassins and evil mages with magic, quick wits and moxie.



TQ:  Tell us something about The Thorn of Dentonhill that is not in the book description.

Marshall:  There’s plenty of food in Thorn. Magic burns calories, so Veranix is hungry almost all the time. You might want to have snacks nearby when you read it.



TQ:  What inspired you to write The Thorn of Dentonhill? What appealed to you about writing a fantasy novel featuring both organized crime and academia?

Marshall:  It partly came from wanting to take the thief-hero tropes in fantasy and turn them a bit on their ear, and thinking along those lines led me to the superhero tropes, especially the street-level types like Spiderman and Daredevil. And one recurring concept in those tropes is the hero having some grounding, a responsibility that keeps them from just being in hero mode full time. An academic life that couldn’t be ignored felt like the best fit, and from that Veranix came together as a vibrant protagonist that I had to write about.



TQ:  What sort of research did you do for The Thorn of Dentonhill?

Marshall:  I studied cities: how they grow, how they break into neighborhoods, how the people of the neighborhoods define its character. I spent some time in Mexico City, observing those kinds of rhythms. For example, the neighborhood of Coyoacan in Mexico City is a relatively safe district with a lot of historic architecture, where you’ll see groups of young men working the street in a unique way: if you’re trying to park your car, for example, they’ll run ahead, find a spot for you, make sure you get in all right. Things like that: nothing illegal or even shady, just being helpful. And you tip them for their help— help you didn’t necessarily ask for or need, but you tip them just the same. A lot of the character of the Rose Street Princes and other gangs in the Aventil neighborhood came from these observations.



TQ:  Who was the easiest character to write and why? The hardest and why?

Marshall:  Veranix is the easiest, by far. When I sat down to work on the sequel to Thorn after having been “away” from him for a while (I wrote A Murder of Mages and a few other things after finishing Thorn), writing Veranix again was like putting on a comfortable sweater. Colin is probably the hardest, because he’s got loyalties pulling him in different directions and mixed feelings about Veranix, so finding the balance of what he wants to do, what he needs to do, and what he can’t let himself do is challenging.



TQ:  Which question about your novel do you wish someone would ask? Ask it and answer it!

Marshall:  You mean, what is the correct pronunciation of “Veranix”? I’m glad you asked! (I’ve already heard it mangled several ways.) Veranix has the same vowels and stresses as “therapist”.



TQ:  Give us one or two of your favorite non-spoilery lines from The Thorn of Dentonhill.

Marshall

         “If you ask me, the Blue Hand are especially odious. A little boys club, if you get my drift, and they all nearly worship their leader. Disturbing man. I only met him once, and it was two times too many.”

         Delmin leaned in to the prefect. “Listen, what would you rather have, two annoyed, hungry mages, or two mages who owe you a favor?” The prefect thought about this for a minute, and then opened the door.



TQ:  What's next?

Marshall:  Next up is A Murder of Mages, which is not a sequel to Thorn, but the start of a separate series also set in the city of Maradaine. The two books do have some interconnectivity, though. A Murder of Mages follows two constabulary inspectors as they try to solve a gruesome series of murders. It’s coming out July 7th.



TQ:  Thank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

Marshall:  Thanks for having me!





The Thorn of Dentonhill
Maradaine 1
DAW, February 3, 2014
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 400 pages

Interview with Marshall Ryan Maresca, author of The Thorn of Dentonhill - February 1, 2015
Veranix Calbert leads a double life. By day, he’s a struggling magic student at the University of Maradaine. At night, he spoils the drug trade of Willem Fenmere, crime boss of Dentonhill and murderer of Veranix’s father. He’s determined to shut Fenmere down.

With that goal in mind, Veranix disrupts the delivery of two magical artifacts meant for Fenmere’s clients, the mages of the Blue Hand Circle. Using these power-filled objects in his fight, he quickly becomes a real thorn in Fenmere’s side.

So much so that soon not only Fenmere, but powerful mages, assassins, and street gangs all want a piece of “The Thorn.” And with professors and prefects on the verge of discovering his secrets, Veranix’s double life might just fall apart. Unless, of course, Fenmere puts an end to it first.




About Marshall

Marshall Ryan Maresca grew up in upstate New York and studied film and video production at Penn State.  He now lives Austin with his wife and son.  His work appeared in Norton Anthology of Hint Fiction and Rick Klaw’s anthology Rayguns Over Texas. He also has had several short plays produced and has worked as a stage actor, a theatrical director and an amateur chef.  The Thorn of Dentonhill is his debut novel. DAW will also be publishing A Murder of Mages, the first novel in Marshall’s second fantasy series, set in the city of Maradaine. For more information, visit Marshall’s website at www.mrmaresca.com.

Website  ~  Twitter @marshallmaresca

2015 Debut Author Challenge Update: The Thorn of Dentonhill by Marshall Ryan Maresca



2015 Debut Author Challenge Update: The Thorn of Dentonhill by Marshall Ryan Maresca



The Qwillery is pleased to announce the newest featured author for the 2015 Debut Author Challenge.



Marshall Ryan Maresca

The Thorn of Dentonhill
Maradaine 1
DAW, February 3, 2014
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 400 pages

2015 Debut Author Challenge Update: The Thorn of Dentonhill by Marshall Ryan Maresca
Veranix Calbert leads a double life. By day, he’s a struggling magic student at the University of Maradaine. At night, he spoils the drug trade of Willem Fenmere, crime boss of Dentonhill and murderer of Veranix’s father. He’s determined to shut Fenmere down.

With that goal in mind, Veranix disrupts the delivery of two magical artifacts meant for Fenmere’s clients, the mages of the Blue Hand Circle. Using these power-filled objects in his fight, he quickly becomes a real thorn in Fenmere’s side.

So much so that soon not only Fenmere, but powerful mages, assassins, and street gangs all want a piece of “The Thorn.” And with professors and prefects on the verge of discovering his secrets, Veranix’s double life might just fall apart. Unless, of course, Fenmere puts an end to it first.

Review, Excerpt and Giveaway - The Holver Alley Crew by Marshall Ryan MarescaCover Reveal: The Holver Alley Crew by Marshall Ryan MarescaInterview with Marshall Ryan Maresca and Review of The Alchemy of ChaosReview: A Murder of Mages by Marshall Ryan MarescaReview: The Thorn of Dentonhill by Marshall Ryan Maresca Interview with Marshall Ryan Maresca, author of The Thorn of Dentonhill - February 1, 20152015 Debut Author Challenge Update: The Thorn of Dentonhill by Marshall Ryan Maresca

Report "The Qwillery"

Are you sure you want to report this post for ?

Cancel
×